Committee to Conduct Hearing on Bennet's Arkansas Valley Conduit and Bolts Ditch Bills

Washington, D.C. - The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee's Water and Power subcommittee today will discuss two water resource bills cosponsored by Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet. One bill would allow the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservation District to more easily pay for the construction costs of the Arkansas Valley Conduit that will provide clean drinking water to the area east of Pueblo. The other bill would allow the Town of Minturn to use its existing water rights to secure water sources for Bolts Lake by authorizing a special access permit for the Bolts Ditch headgate within the Holy Cross Wilderness Area. Senator Cory Gardner has sponsored both bills.

"Water is a precious resource in Colorado and throughout the west. As home to the headwaters for 20 states, our communities continuously look for ways to conserve water," Bennet said. "Both of these bipartisan bills will help Colorado communities better manage our water resources in the face of increased demand and persistent drought conditions. We will also continue to work closely with Coloradans to support solutions for the challenges posed by water shortage across the west."

Background on Bennet's bills:

  • The Arkansas Valley Conduit bill offers more flexibility to the Southeastern Water Conservation District by allowing it to more easily pay for its portion of the Conduit's construction. The bill will help the District move closer to the project's construction phase.
  • When Holy Cross Wilderness Area was designated by Congress in 1980, Bolts Ditch was inadvertently left off of the list of existing water facilities. This bill would authorize special use of the Bolts Ditch headgate and the segment of the Bolts Ditch within the Holy Cross Wilderness Area, allowing of Minturn to use its existing water right to fill Bolts Lake.